What is English for Specific Purposes ( ESP ) ? Why ESP? Those are some common inquiries that are frequently arise when we talk about the country of English linguistic communication. We typically know that the most common country of English is General English ( GE ) or English as a Second Language ( ESL ) or even English as a Foreign Language ( EFL ) but some people do non hold a hint of what ESP is. In fact they do non even know that the term exist in English linguistic communication. If you can pass a few proceedingss and seek to concentrate about English in a wider position, you will get down to recognize that English is used everyplace! We tend to believe that English is merely needed by linguists, grammarian and those who are in the English linguistics field nevertheless, the truth is English is immensely used in about all profession. For illustration, medical pupils need English for their Medical classs and even pilots need English for their air power classs. Therefore, English for Medical Purposes and English for Aviation were established to accommodate those specific demands. Harmonizing to Crystal ( 1999 ) , English for Specific Purposes ( ESP ) can be simplified as the usage of a peculiar assortment of the linguistic communication in a specific context of usage. In add-on, Robinson ( 1991 ) has talked approximately ESP as a ‘language in context ‘ and the classs are designed based on the scholars ‘ communicative demands ( Munby, 1978 ) . Robinson ( 1991 ) has besides stated that:
“ Clairvoyance classs are those where the course of study and stuffs are determined in all necessities by the anterior analysis of communicative demands of the context. ” Robinson ( 1991: 20 )
However the important inquiry is how is English for Specific Purposes ( ESP ) different from English as a Second Language ( ESL ) , besides known as General English? To hold a greater understanding about English for Specific Purposes ( ESP ) , I will speak about the chronological development of English and through this footing so we will be able to follow the history and development of ESP as a field of linguistic communication.
To get down with I am traveling to speak about the development of English, peculiarly English as an international linguistic communication. When a linguistic communication is called the tongue franca, we clearly know that it is a linguistic communication that is widely used as a agency of communicating among talkers of other linguistic communications. The recognition of English linguistic communication as the lingua franca of most activity in the international scene has been by and large recognized ( Faiz, 2010 ) and it is non a shocking phenomenon that most people learn English merely to pass on with English speech production people. In the epoch of globalisation, people have now realized the importance of English and the demand to get the hang the English linguistic communication therefore the function English has expanded enormously. This can be seen in the usage of English at a higher degree of instruction as in ‘specialized country of research and scholarship ‘ ( Faiz, 2010 ) and the most evident cogent evidence can be seen in the figure of English talkers. Estimates of the Numberss of English talkers are hard to do nevertheless, harmonizing to Fennel ( 2009 ) the Numberss of English native talkers are about 350 million.
Harmonizing to Hutchinson and Waters ( 1987 ) , ESP was non a ‘planned and consistent motion ‘ but it has emerged because of legion incorporate tendencies based on notably three chief grounds that have been identified in the outgrowth of ESP: the demands of a Brave New World, a revolution in linguistics, and concentrate on the scholar. Hutchinson and Waters ( 1987 ) have emphasized two cardinal historical periods that gave life into ESP. In 1945, it was the terminal of the Second World War which had brought with it an “ … age of tremendous and unprecedented enlargement in scientific, proficient and economic activity on an international scaleaˆ¦ ” which was so had given rise to the creative activity of two forces: engineering and commercialism universe which so had initiated a ‘demand for an international linguistic communication ‘ . Because of the importance of engineering and commercialism in this period, the demand for English to accommodate those demands had immensely expanded and people now learn English because of really specific ground: because English had become the linguistic communication of engineering and commercialism. Long clip ago, the acquisition of English ( or other linguistic communication ) was ne’er this lucid. Peoples used to chew over why it is indispensable to larn a linguistic communication, now that English had become so powerful and influential ; corporate people used English to advance their merchandise globally, technicians who had to utilize English to read the manuals, research workers who needed English to be able to read text editions and diaries in English for their research. Because English was crucially imperative, it had created a trade name new type of scholars who so understand why they need English for and they certainly know how to strike while the Fe is hot. In add-on, the Oil Crisis of the early 1970s was one of the factors that contributed to the development. English had all of a sudden become a large concern and due to this it had created clip and money restraints that lead to ‘the demand of cost effectual classs which clearly defined ends ‘ . English has now become ‘subject to the wants, demands and demands of people other than linguistic communication instructors ‘ ( Hutchinson & A ; Waters, 1987, p.7 ) .
Another factor that contributes to the outgrowth of ESP is a revolution in linguistics. In this period of clip, the demands of English classs for specific demand were increasing piece at the same clip new thoughts began to take topographic point in the field of survey ( Hutchinson & A ; Waters, 1987 ) . The conventional linguists sought to depict the characteristics of linguistic communication ( grammar ) , whereas the extremist innovator in linguistics put a focal point on the ways in which linguistic communication is used in existent communicating ( Widdowson, 1978 ) . The result of the research was that linguistic communication, whether it is spoken or written, varies in certain ways and contexts. In another words, the linguistic communication usage will change in given the peculiar context in which English is used, the discrepancy of English will alter. This thought was taken one measure further. If linguistic communication in different state of affairss varies, so it is possible to orient linguistic communication direction to run into the demands of scholars in specific contexts. Hence, there was an huge addition of in the late sixtiess and the early 1970s in researching peculiar countries of English as we can see in the efforts of depicting English for Science and Technology ( EST ) by Ewer and Latorre ( 1969 ) , Swales ( 1971 ) , Selinker and Trimble ( 1976 ) and many others. In this stage, it can be concluded that by analysing the lingual features of the specific country of survey or work, we would be able to place the English needed by a peculiar group of scholars. Therefore, the steering rule proposed for ESP by Hutchinson and Waters ( 1987: 8 ) “ State me what you need English for and I will state you what English you need ” is exactly true to its significance within the ESP context. I am perfectly agreed to their stating because we can merely give what they want by cognizing what they want ( the word ‘they ‘ refers to the scholars of English ) .
The other ground that leads to the beginning of ESP is the focal point on the scholar, which is in this instance in the country of psychological science. The development of educational psychological science has contributed to the outgrowth of ESP by concentrating on the scholars and their acquisition attitudes. It was clear that different scholars have different demands and involvements which will so impact their learning motive and the effectivity of larning. In other words, scholars were seen to use different larning schemes, apply different accomplishments, come up with different larning scheme, and all those things were motivated by different demands and involvements. As a consequence, focal point on the scholars ‘ demands and involvements were of paramount importance to the methods employed to circulate lingual cognition which will so lend to the better and faster acquisition. The thought of planing specific classs to run into these single demands was a singular yet effectual idea. It is frequently heard that ESL is learner-centered or learning-centered as one of its chief focal point is on the scholar. Succinctly, the development of ESP was resulted in the combination of three factors that have been discussed above and all the three factors appeared to take towards a lone point: the demand for increased specialisation in linguistic communication acquisition ( Hutchinson & A ; Waters, 1987 ) .
Let us acquire back to the inquiries asked at the beginning: What is ESP and why ESP? Even though it has been explained at the beginning, the demand of extra information sing ESP is still needed in order to hold a better understanding towards this topic. It is rather obvious that the scholars of English as a Second/ Foreign Language are rather legion than any other linguistic communication nevertheless rather a figure of them do non understand why the demand to larn it. Knowing the fact that English is an of import universe linguistic communication, this motive drive them to larn English and besides that some survey English because they are forced to make so as it is a compulsory topic at school or even in the university. Taking Malaysia as the nearest and obvious illustration, English linguistic communication has been made compulsory since the starting of primary school, which is in Standard One. In fact some kindergartens in Malaysia have started to learn English obligatorily to their childs from the really beginning of school life whether the childs like it or non. On the other manus there are besides rather a figure of scholars of English who learn English because of specific grounds. For illustration, one would necessitate the cognition of English in order to last socially and professionally in an English speech production community.
I have antecedently explained about the definition of ESP in a simple manner, however the drawn-out definition of ESP is indispensable so that a more brooding in the field of survey and pattern and it will besides be utile to separate it with General English or English Language Teaching ( ELT ) . There are some positions and places of ESP that we can look farther. Strevens ‘ ( 1988 ) definition makes a differentiation between four absolute and two variable features. In his gesture, he says that ESP consists of English linguistic communication learning that comprises absolute features, which are:
designed to run into specified demands of the scholar ;
related in content ( i.e. in its subjects and subjects ) to peculiar subjects, businesss and activities centred on the linguistic communication appropriate to those activities in sentence structure, lexis, discourse, semantics, etc. , and analysis of this discourse ; and
in contrast with General English.
Besides that, there are besides variable features of ESP as ESP may be, but is non needfully restricted as to the linguistic communication skills to be learned ( e.g. reading merely ) ; and it is non taught harmonizing to any pre-ordained methodological analysis. Dudley-Evans and St. John ( 1998 ) have offered a modified definition of ESP by summing up their place in a two groups like Strevens ( 1988 ) . Their revised place is as follows:
ESP is defined to run into specific demands of the scholar ;
ESP makes usage of the implicit in methodological analysis and activities of the subject it serves ;
ESP is centred on the linguistic communication ( grammar, lexis, registry ) , accomplishments, discourse and genres appropriate to these activities.
ESP may be related to or designed for specific subjects ;
ESP may utilize, in specific learning state of affairss, a different methodological analysis from that of general English ;
ESP is likely to be designed for grownup scholars, either at a third degree establishment or in a professional work state of affairs. It could, nevertheless, be for scholars at secondary school degree ;
ESP is by and large designed for intermediate or advanced pupils. Most ESP classs assume some basic cognition of the linguistic communication system, but it can be used with novices ( 1998, pp. 4-5 ) .
In their gesture, Dudley-Evans and St. John ( 1998 ) have removed the absolute feature that ‘ESP is in contrast with General English ‘ and added more variable features. They have asserted that ESP is non needfully related to a specific subject. Furthermore, ESP is likely to be used with grownup scholars although it could be used with immature grownups in a secondary school scene. Harmonizing to Karklina ( 2002 ) , she argued that what distinguishes ESP from General English is non the being of a demand as such but instead an consciousness of the demand. She besides added that if scholars, patrons and instructors know why the scholars need English, that consciousness will impact on what will be accepted as sensible content in the linguistic communication class and, on the other side, what possible can be exploited. Therefore, although it might look on the surface that the ESP class is characterized by its content ( Science, Medicine, Commerce, Tourism, etc. ) , this is, in fact merely a secondary effect of the primary affair of being able to stipulate why the scholars need English ( Hutchinson and Waters, 1987 ) .
We have now explored English for Specific Purposes ( ESP ) comprehensively and exhaustively get downing from its history and development and we have had better understandings towards this country of English. We could state that English for Specific Purposes has developed out of the demand to supply specific classs for pupils who had to larn English more as a agency to an terminal instead than for the interest of larning English itself. All in all, ESP can be merely deduced as the usage of specific assortment of English in a specific context to run into specific demands of the scholar. The steering rule proposed for ESP by Hutchinson and Waters ( 1987: 8 ) “ State me what you need English for and I will state you what English you need ” is in perfect agreement with the above statement along with the history and development of ESP. Based on the history and development of ESP discussed supra, we can see that the scholars ‘ demands of English play an of import function in developing and planing the acquisition stuffs to carry through their specific demands.